Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Are soft surfaces that important?

There have been a couple of decent articles in the last few days regarding studies that show that running on soft surfaces (say, dirt instead of pavement) and more cushioned shoes don't really have any effect on whether runners get injured. Gina Kolata seems to have started it off in the New York Times with her article "For Runners, Soft Ground Can Be Hard On The Body."  Amby Burfoot at Runner's World gives it his spin as well, with "If Grass and Shoe Cushioning Can't Prevent Injuries, What Can?"

Both articles are worth a read - I'd encourage you all to take a look.

Outside Magazine weighs in as well...

And the Beer Runner puts in his always awesome two cents.

4 comments:

SnowLeopard said...

Hm. Definitely interesting. I guess our bodies will adjust to our preferred running surface and favorite shoes- just be careful when switching back and forth and watch your foot placement. Thanks for sharing these articles!

slowrunner77 said...

taken with a grain of salt. there is ALWAYS going to be a study that shows what they set out to show. Always. I'm sure their are studies to show the opposite. Certain basic truths are evident, then you go from there. IE-calories in vs calories out effects weight gain or loss...the body absorbs more shock on concrete than asphalt, more on asphalt than dirt, etc...
What that means to a runner is up for debate.

Turi said...

Yep, grains of salt are good on everything.

What I'm starting to realize is that everyone is different, and reacts differently to all sorts of different things - so there's no absolutes. You just have to figure out what works for you, and realize that it may not work the same for other people.

slowrunner77 said...

dirt and beer work for me!